Rally Japan 2022 data: Running order + itinerary

The WRC has landed in Japan for the first time in 12 years, but has never been in Aichi before


The 2022 World Rally Championship finale takes place this weekend with the much anticipated return of Rally Japan.

But the six previous WRC editions of Rally Japan were gravel events on the island of Hokkaido so this weekend’s asphalt rally based in Nagoya, in the prefecture of Aichi, will be new to all the leading runners.

Here’s all the key information you need for this year’s WRC finale:

Entry breakdown

Total 36 crews

9 Priority 1 crews

17 Priority 2 crews (WRC2)

10 Non-priority crews


M-Sport’s withdrawal of Adrian Fourmaux makes the nine-car Rally1 entry the lowest of the year, although the quality remains as strong as ever.

Newly crowned manufacturers’ champion Toyota continues with an unchanged lineup for the third consecutive event. Eight-time world champion Sébastien Ogier, winner of Rally Japan in 2010, will carry the #1 on his GR Yaris for the last time – at least for the foreseeable future – in this, his sixth rally of the season for the team.

His successor, Kalle Rovanperä, will be aiming for a seventh win of the season, as team-mate Elfyn Evans seeks his first. The local manufacturer’s entry is completed by Takamoto Katsuta, running under the Toyota Next Generation banner, who will be boosted by massive support as he finally gets to contest a home round of the WRC.


The trio of Hyundai i20 N Rally1s will be driven by Thierry Neuville, Ott Tänak and Dani Sordo, who has four Rally Japan starts (in its previous guise) under his belt. After missing out on the drivers’ and manufacturers’ crowns, the squad will be seeking to gain a modicum of revenge by beating Toyota on home ground. It will be Tänak’s final appearance for the team after their split was announced following Rally Spain.

With Fourmaux not travelling to Japan, the M-Sport entry is down to two Puma Rally1s. Sitting alongside Craig Breen in one will be James Fulton, who takes over co-driving duties following Paul Nagle’s retirement. The second car will, as usual, be piloted by Gus Greensmith.


The destiny of the WRC2 title will be decided on Rally Japan, with three drivers in contention to clinch the crown. Only two of them are among the 17-strong entry of Rally2 cars though.

Leading the crews away will be Kajetan Kajetanowicz. The three-time European champion is seeking to overturn a five-point deficit to Andreas Mikkelsen, who has completed his seven-round season and has to nervously sit and wait this weekend.

Two wins in the second half of the season have brought WRC2 Junior champion Emil Lindholm into contention for the overall crown. He is currently level on points with fellow Škoda Fabia driver Kajetanowicz and starts Rally Japan as second seed in WRC2.


Third seed is Hyundai i20 N driver Teemu Suninen, who heads to the event on the back of winning Rally Spain having been disqualified from a home victory in Finland.

Last year’s Junior WRC champion Sami Pajari and Bruno Balacia will be further contenders, joining Lindholmand and Mauro Miele among Toksport’s fleet of Škodas.

Grégoire Munster and Fabrizio Zaldivar will take the start in Hyundai machinery, and there is a return for Sean Johnston in his Saintéloc-prepared Citroën C3.

Adding further intrigue to the entry list are Japanese rally champion Heikki Kovalainen, the Formula 1 grand prix winner, and two-time PWRC champion Toshihiro Arai. Kovalainen will be at the wheel of an older Škoda Fabia R5, while Arai is Citroën-mounted.

Incredibly, it’s Arai’s first rally not in a Subaru this century.


There are 19 stages totaling 176 competitive miles in the first WRC Rally Japan since 2010.

The action begins on Thursday night with a short spectator stage at Kuragaike Park, a stone’s throw from the event’s service park at the Toyota Stadium in Nagoye.

On Friday, the event’s longest leg, crews head east. Beginning with a run through Isegami’s Tunnel, Rally Japan’s longest stage at 14.5 miles, they then tackle Inabu Dam and Shitara Town, which are both only slightly shorter. All three are repeated in the afternoon.


Saturday features a shorter route with some 50 competitive miles also to the east of the host city. The leg opens with Nukata Forest and Lake Mikawako, which will both be repeated in the afternoon. In between times, there is a run through the short Shinshiro City stage. The day ends with two blasts through the Okazaki City superspecial.

Five stages make up Sunday’s concluding leg which takes the crews north. The short Asahi Kougen is up first before a longer run through Ena City and then Nenoue Plateau. Crews then return to Ena City and finish off with a second run through Asahi Kougen, which is the powerstage.

Words:Mark Paulson